Emotional development in adolescents

Amanda-Hill's picture

If you’re an adolescent, you may be aware of the fact that you are experiencing certain moods and/or emotional outbursts that are new to you or that you do not feel you are in control of. You may also overhear your parents saying to others (or even to you) that you’re “too moody” or “too emotional” and that you need to get a handle on yourself. If you can relate to this, I’m writing to encourage you by letting you know that the idea that ALL adolescents are “moody” is more of a stereotype than reality!

It is during this stage of life (12-18 years old) that teens begin to be more aware of the emotions that they are experiencing (with the most common and troublesome being anxiety, shame, embarrassment, guilt, shyness, depression, and anger) which can cause confusion and frustration in any adolescent who is not aware of how to properly cope with the flooding of these emotions.

Studies show that boys emotions tend to be more outward: anger, contempt, and aggression, and girls emotions tend to be more inward: guilt, shame, and depression. With that in mind, your main goal as a young boy or girl should be to ACCEPT your feelings and not let yourself believe that you are going crazy or that you are strange for feeling the way you do. Tolerance of your emotions is key, so if you are able to incorporate coping skills to deal with the intense range of emotions you experience on a daily basis you will be quickly on your way to healthy emotional development for the remainder of your life!

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